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The most common advice our featured brides give to our readers week in and week out? Throughout your wedding day, regularly step back and take mental snapshots. Slow the day down, and soak it in, or else it will whir by in a happy blur. I’m positive each of the ten most memorable moments below are imprinted in each couple’s mind just as beautifully as their photographers’ captured them for posterity.

I hope these photos help you to take a pause even today, and remember how joyful and sublime a wedding day can truly be!

Ashley’s sweet confetti moment with her bridesmaids (photo by Elisabeth Carol)

Nicole’s tearjerker moment with her Dad (photo by Danielle Nichol)

Madeleine and Caleb’s giddy first look (photo by Kristin Sweeting)

Erica and Daniel’s private foot washing and letter exchange before their ceremony (photo by Anna Shackleford)

Callie and Cade’s joyful ceremony exit (photo by Paul Johnson)

Libby and Matt’s bridal party huddle (photo by Lynnesy Catron)

Leigh and Steve’s ceremony to reception boat ride (photo by Rach Loves Troy)

Emily and Matthew’s private dinner (photos by Clark Brewer)

Amy and Mike’s second line boogie (photo by Arte de Vie)

Finally, Caitlin and Davis’ confetti-soaked exit (photo by Landon Jacob)

I would love to hear: what is one of the moments that stands out most vividly from your wedding day?

Elisabeth Carol and Anna Shackleford are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily

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Leigh and Steve might not be Southerners by home address, but after a trip to South Carolina, they couldn’t have imagined celebrating their wedding anywhere else. But, just like our own Emily brought the South back to her hometown New England wedding, Leigh and Steve brought a bit of their home states with them through details like mussel shells place cards from the beach at the end of their street in Massachusetts and eucalyptus to as a homage to Steve’s childhood in California. And don’t think those were the only sweet details Leigh and Steve incorporated into their wedding! From taking a boat from the chapel to the reception, just like Leigh’s parents did, to including essays from her grandparents on marriage into their ceremony, tradition and family was weaved throughout.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Rach Loves Troy for sharing their dreamy day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were about to move in together, and I wanted to have a “big talk” about our future and timelines. Little did I know that I was playing perfectly into his plan. We went out to dinner one night to talk about everything, and walked from his apartment down to the Bunker Hill Monument. Once we got there, he completely surprised me and got down on one knee. He had also hired a photographer to hide in the background to capture everything, which was perfect, because I completely blacked out! If you want to see what an “ugly cry” looks like, I will send you our proposal pictures…
When did y’all get married? April 3, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 97
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be (much to the surprise of my mom). We went to one bridal salon and shopping took a total of 30 minutes. I ended up choosing pieces of two Judd Waddell dresses–the bottom of one dress and the top of another. I loved the lace back of the dress and the dropped waist.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. After thinking about it for a while, we realized we would be too excited after the ceremony to want to sit and take pictures. Our wedding planner, Tara, was amazing about setting the schedule for the day. We did our first look early and took almost all of our photos with our bridal party, which allowed us to have about an hour before the ceremony to relax and hang out in our cottage across from the chapel with our bridal party and parents.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My dad has been going down to Bluffton, South Carolina to play golf with his buddies for years. A couple of years ago, he let the rest of us in on this beautiful location. I considered venues closer to home in New England, but after a lot of hemming and hawing, I couldn’t imagine getting married and celebrating anywhere else but South Carolina. We absolutely loved the Moreland Landing location for the reception, because it was very important to me that we would be able to be outside for the reception (it was impossible to find a venue in New England that would allow us to do that). The Chapel was perfect, small, quaint, and not intimidating.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We asked my grandparents to write an essay on their thoughts on marriage. They are our only grandparents still with us, and made the very big trip down to South Carolina to be with us for our wedding. It was so special to have them be a part of the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our wedding planner helped us find an acoustic guitarist to play the ceremony music. I walked down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which was my parents’ first dance song at their wedding. I kept it a secret, but asked them to pay special attention to it. I nudged my dad as we walked down the aisle to make sure he heard it!
Describe your wedding flowers. I loved our flowers! Amy did an amazing job bringing my description of what I wanted to life. Peonies are my favorite flowers, and they looked perfect for the spring. We also had a lot of eucalyptus, which was an homage to Steve’s childhood in California.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We both loved the reception venue, Moreland Landing (that can be a detail, right?). The wedding was in early April, and it actually snowed back home in Boston that day, so it was perfect to be outside in the sunshine along the river, and then later dancing under the cafe lights. There was even a three-story treehouse that our guests could climb up to see beautiful views of the river! A more specific detail that was special to my heart was taking a boat from the chapel to the reception. My parents took a boat away from their wedding, and it was a nice, quiet time for us to reflect and take a bit of a breather after the ceremony. We also had mussel shells for place cards that I had picked up from the beach at the end of our street in Massachusetts–I wrote out everyone’s names and sent them down to our planner before the wedding.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We ended up choosing to do a buffet versus a plated dinner, and I feel like that kept the vibe very relaxed and fun. We chose the “pig pickin'” menu, which included a lot of great Southern food! The fried chicken was to die for. We also had roasted oysters during the cocktail hour, which was a very new way to eat oysters for all of us from up North (everyone loved it).
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make decisions about what is very important to you both (and individually) on your day, and don’t go crazy over details that are less significant to you.

Photographer and Videographer: Rach Loves Troy | Planner: Tara Skinner of Posh Petals and Pearls | Ceremony Venue: The Chapel at Palmetto Bluff | Reception Venue: Moreland Landing at Palmetto Bluff | Florist: Harvey Designs | Band: The Free via Sam Hill Entertainment | Paper Products: Goosefish Press | Bride’s Gown: Judd Waddell | Hair and Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier

Palmetto Bluff, Posh Petals and Pearls and Rach Loves Troy are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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I was recently asked if Brandon and I have any anniversary traditions. At first, I said no, but then I remembered how much we love to reminisce about our wedding day each year! We talk about how much fun we had, and often share anecdotes the other might not remember. Like Sarah and Steven, we did not do a first look, and I also remember the exact moment the church doors opened. Sarah said, and I couldn’t agree more, that “I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.” I’m sure that was only the beginning, and that their intimate reception Coosaw Point RiverClub was filled with even more memories to be shared for years to come!

Thanks to Rach Loves Troy for sharing this sweet day with us!

I found my dress at a small boutique in Charleston with my bridesmaids, aunt, and mother. I tried on so many dresses, but none of them felt like me. Then, I put on this interesting two-piece dress, and that was it–game over. It was beautiful! The fitted underlay was stunning under the detailed overlay, giving the dress a very romantic feel while still showing off my figure.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds so cliché, but everything really was perfect! Seeing everything finally come together was amazing. I think the flowers were our favorite detail–they were above and beyond beautiful, and really added a romantic feel to our bohemian-inspired wedding.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We went back and forth on this decision! Part of us wanted that private moment to enjoy each other and take it all in, but the other part of us wanted that grand moment when the doors opened and we could see each other for the first time in front of friends and family. We decided that it was too special not to have the big moment in front of those gorgeous wooden church doors! We could not have been happier with our decision to stay traditional.

We chose the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church in beautiful downtown Beaufort for its Southern character and charm. The newly restored church is just breathtaking and has a very intimate feel, which was important for our small wedding! Our reception was held at the Coosaw Point RiverClub. We love this venue and the incredible views it offers. We knew the second we got engaged that the RiverClub was where we wanted to celebrate our big day!

For the reception, I went with a fun, fitted gown with a deep v-neck and ruffled straps. It was perfect for dancing the night away!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Thankfully, our venue was fully furnished and gorgeous, and the colors tied in so well with our color scheme that we didn’t need to do much! We kept everything very simple, not wanting to overwhelm the venue with too much detail. Flowers and greenery were really our only decorations.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cooke. We went through so many different options for our first dance and would settle on one for a month or so until something else came along. We knew we didn’t want a really popular song–we wanted it to feel like ours. We came across this 1963 song by Sam Cooke and thought it was perfect–upbeat but slow enough to dance to, and everything we wanted to say to each other. The song I danced with my dad to was “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, which was the same song my sisters danced to with him, so I thought it would be sweet to finish off the tradition! Steven danced with his mother to “Days like This” by Van Morrison. When his mother sent me this song, I melted! I really could not have picked a sweeter song for them.

Our cake was incredible–I must have eaten four or five pieces! It was a simple, whipped buttercream, three-tiered cake with a combination of chocolate and strawberry shortcake layers. It was nice to be able to give our guests a choice for their dessert that night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the summer of 2010 and talked a little, but it wasn’t until a few months later that we reconnected on Facebook. After a cheesy exchange online, he asked for my number. I was starting my first year at college and he was in his second year at another university. The following year, he transferred to the same school as me, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Steven planned a trip for our four-year anniversary to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. We planned to visit tons of waterfalls and had the maps to all of them ready to go, but somehow, we spent most of the day riding up and down the mountain, getting lost! It was getting late when we stumbled across a beautiful waterfall in a secluded part of the mountain, which is where Steven asked me to be his wife! It was incredible!
When did y’all get married? June 4, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 80
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? In preparation for our big day, we went to a premarital counseling course. During the all-day session, we learned about each other’s love languages, talked about when we would want children, how we want to handle finances, etc. It was great to see that we were on the same page in so many of the important aspects of marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Definitely the financial stress of planning a wedding. We tried really hard to be realistic about the cost of things, but weddings aren’t cheap! We would come to terms with the price of one thing only to be hit in the face with the price of another. Steven was amazing and just kept reassuring me that it would all be worth it. Don’t tell him I said this, but he was right!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Ashley Rhodes, our wedding planner! She planned both of my sisters’ weddings and it was really amazing to have her there to help marry off the last Gresham girl. There really are no words great enough for the job she did!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Easy–when the church doors opened and we finally got to see each other. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything, I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After almost six years together, we are excited about starting a family together!

Photographer: Rach Loves Troy Photography | Planner: Ashley Rhodes Event Designs | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter’s Historic Church | Reception Venue: Coosaw Point RiverClub | Florist: Creative Floral | Cake Baker: AMC Confections | Caterer: Southern Graces | Rentals: Amazing Rentals | DJ: Epic Charleston | Paper Products: Murrs Printing | Bride’s Gown: “Ti Adora” by Alvina Valenta | Hair and Makeup: Orchid Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Mark Fisher | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Cate Lyon | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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